Charlotte Dujardin joins Laura Trott as the only British female Olympians with three gold medals, retaining her Olympic Games individual dressage title in spectacular fashion.
The 31-year-old and her horse Valegro, who also won team and individual gold at London 2012, finished ahead of Isabell Werth, herself a six-time gold medallist, by nearly five whole percentage points.
Her score of 93.857 was three per cent higher than the one she and Valegro rode to win gold in London and capped a successful partnership between the pair in what is likely to be Valegro's final competition.
“It was an amazing feeling in there. I’ve had a really lovely time. I thought this could be the last [time I compete on Valegro], so I had to go in there and enjoy it. I think he knew I was thinking that because he really looked after me and helped me," she said.
“I’ve only ridden that floor plan once and that was at Hartpury just before coming out here. I’ve altered a couple of bits of the music. There were things that I hadn’t even tried before and I did it on the day today.
“That’s why he’s just so magical. I can’t even tell you what it’s like to ride him. He has a heart of gold."
Fellow Brit, and team coach, Carl Hester sat in the gold medal position for a time after his run of 82.553 on Nip Tuck, enough for seventh place, while Fiona Bigwood and Orthilia scored 76.018 for 17th place.
Dujardin admitted it could be the final time she competes on Valegro, with who she has dominated the dressage circuit in recent years, winning four Olympic medals and nine World and European titles.
“Anything can happen out there. He’s so sensitive," she said of her ride. "We saw in the Special that my leg just touched him and he went into canter. He’s not naughty, but he’s so sensitive and reacts so quickly that anything can happen. Today, trotting round the edge, I just felt like he picked up.
“I’m feeling emotional because [Valegro is] going to be retired. We haven’t said when but it’s on the cards to retire, so we’ll go home and make a plan.”
Germany's Werth finished second with a score of 89.071, with compatriot Kristina Broring-Sprehe taking bronze with a score of 87.142.
For all three riders it was their second medal of the Games, with Germany having triumphed in the team competition ahead of Great Britain, who with Dujardin, Hester, Bigwood and Spencer Wilton took silver.